Businesses are being urged to ensure their cyber security system is up to scratch in the wake of increasing cases of cyber-attacks.
Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) Kenya chapter president Antony Muiyuro, said cyber-attacks such as malware and ransomware continue to pose serious threats to businesses in the digital space.
Muiyuro said it was essential that businesses in this digital age take steps to insulate themselves against the growing threat of cyber-crime.
He said businesses have turned to technology to survive the Covid-19 pandemic but warned that as everyone scrambled to get online, the pervasive threat of cybercrime was overlooked.
“Covid-19 accelerated the need to quickly move businesses online as it was the only way for businesses to survive at the height of the pandemic,” he said, adding that businesses faced the option of either moving with digital evolution or going extinct.
He urged businesses big or small to invest in cyber security against a spate of attacks noting that technological advancement brought about diverse challenges including cyber-attacks.
He said businesses should have in place fool proof measures to prevent online criminals accessing their data and potentially crippling their activities.
Cyber-attack has been roundly defined as an attempt by hackers or cybercriminals to disable or damage a computer network or system and could be done through phishing, ransomware, malware, man-in-the-middle or other ways.
He says it is unfortunate that cyber criminals use modern technology gadgets and easy access to the internet to commit crimes by hacking into databases.
Muiyuro spoke to the media at Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort and Spa in Mombasa while attending this year’s annual ISACA Kenya chapter conference running under the theme ‘Renew and re-imagine, tech, innovation and resilience’.
In attendance were a galaxy of policymakers, regulators, consultants and investors from the private and public sectors.
He said data security is crucial at a time when crypto currency, a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange, is explicitly being allowed in use and trade in many parts of the world.
The ISACA president underscored the need to confront the threat posed by hackers as ICT platforms are increasingly becoming an enabler of businesses and development in the region.
He said data security is crucial at a time business firms are focusing on digital transformation, big data collection and cloud computing.
“Business firms should keep pace with technological changes and learn on how to improve cyber security and protect important information and data,” he said during an interview.
Muiyuro who is an expert in cyber strategy and governance, said it was high time public and private institutions embraced data security to guard against the relentless activities of internet hackers.
He noted that incidents of cyber-crime have gained notoriety as hackers increasingly target the digital economy amidst continued proliferation of financial technology and internet banking.
“Growing cases of cyber threat is a major drawback to the country’s general ICT development prospects,” said Muiyuro describing cyber security as the IT sector’s new headache.
He underscored the need to insulate ICT infrastructure from cyber threats as most services were in this digital era dispensed through ICT systems that are customized for use in various sectors of the economy.
“Cybercrime poses a threat to global businesses and security hence the need to strengthen capacities to defeat this pervasive threat,” he said.
He said the government should ensure that cyber security was entrenched into the country through legislation, civic education and meting out punitive measures against criminals.
By Mohamed Hassan